This week: 5500 block, Lancaster Ave., where cop shot self, blamed black men

OVERBROOK. Despite the chilly winds, Yvette Stokes unloaded groceries from her shopping cart yesterday at the Overbrook Plaza in peace.

The neighborhood was quiet — except for a few students — in stark contrast to April 5 and the days after when a Philadelphia police officer reported being shot by a black male. Officers fanned throughout the surrounding blocks looking for suspects, disrupting several businesses on busy Lancaster Avenue.

“It was cops all over the place,” Stokes recalled. “Looking, running. The whole thing was crazy.”

Residents were buzzing about the announcement on Tuesday that Sgt. Robert Ralston made up the whole thing and that their fears of having a brazen cop shooter in the neighborhood were for nothing.

“It’s ridiculous, just the fact that this police officer who’s supposed to protect and serve blamed two black guys,” said Stephanie Burke of Cool Oasis restaurant. “It just shows you that racism still exists.”

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